I was going to post some New Year’s resolutions such as: “Understand the meaning of ‘Netflix streaming'”, so that I might one day trade my addiction to House Hunters marathons and Real Housewives of Insert-city-here episodes for some of the high quality viewing available through Netflix – or heck, maybe HBO or Showtime. Yeah, that’s right, we’ve never subscribed to any of the premium cable channels. But alas – those resolutions – at least the thinking and the drafting of them part – are on hold ’til later. In the meantime, here is something I wrote in response to a writing prompt.
My mom liked to clean so I suppose the perfume of my childhood home was Murphy Oil Soap for hardwood floors or whatever name brand cleaning solution is used to polish silver with. She was a meticulous person and sometimes spent hours rubbing polish on silver or wood.
At least, I think she did. But I was very young when she had time for that kind of polishing so maybe I made that part up.
Some days it was the smell of lilacs in the spring. But they didn’t last long – by June they faded just as the geraniums started to bloom. If I have the timing wrong it’s because I really don’t remember what month the lilies faded or the geraniums bloomed – or if we even had geraniums. But I think we did.
No, I’m pretty sure we did.
When the perfume of my childhood home wasn’t filled with cleaning solution or lilacs or geraniums – imaginary or not – I suppose it might have been my dad’s cologne – Aqua or Old Spice. I remember him splashing some on his hands, then slapping his neck and face with cologne as though he was trying to knock himself out. He always smelled pretty heavenly.
Or, did he?
Does my grandmother’s house count?
Because if it does, she soaked her dentures in Listerine every night; and her bathroom reeked of antiseptic. She was the only female blood relation to cook fried chicken so sometimes her house smelled of things you couldn’t wait to eat.
Actually, I only remember the one time she made fried chicken but she was big on serving Neapolitan ice cream for dessert and that didn’t have any sort of smell – it just tasted rich and creamy. Well, at least the vanilla and strawberry parts. I liked chocolate the least.
Truthfully, I’m not sure about the accuracy of the fried chicken or ice cream story, either.
My other grandmother had a pool in her backyard so sometimes her house smelled like chlorine, and rubber bathing caps, the squeaky kind that hurt when you took them off.
She also filled candy dishes with gum drops, especially the ones that looked like orange slices coated in sugar. This I am sure of. And while they didn’t have a particular scent whenever I see a bag of sugar-covered orange slices at Rite-Aid I am reminded of her.
Well…I am also reminded of my son who sometimes brings home a bag of sugar-covered orange slices after filling up the tank at the gas station.
As I have never bought sugar-covered orange slices for either of my kids I think that is one strange coincidence.
Speaking of that, my son also likes Circus Peanuts, those peach colored, foam-like candies in the shape of a peanut.
So did my Dad.
Oh. My. God.